[Review] Baek Ji Young’s “PITTA”

 

It’s the return of the “Queen of ballads”, as Baek Ji Young is often referred in her homeland. Despite performing songs for soundtracks, Ji Young hasn’t released a studio album since 2008’s “Sensibility”, and the compilation “Timeless” in 2010. Now,  after relentlessly teasing fans for days with images, Baek Ji Young has unveiled her 8th album “PITTA”. The new release features pop and dance numbers but is still packed with soulful ballads that showcase Ji Young’s powerful voice. “PITTA” has proven to be satisfactory to her patient fans and each track dominates in their own way.

Lost Star” is a slow tempo r&b song about a girl that has lost her love and her way in life. It conveys a message of loneliness and losing hope in the world she once loved. I love the acoustic guitar that makes the song sway a bit. The track starts out mellow, but the beat picks up by the second verse and gives off a Spanish sound that compliments Ji Young’s vocals exceedingly well.

보통 (As Usual)” takes me back to “Don’t Forget” from IRIS’ soundtrack and reminds me why I fell in love with this woman’s raspy voice. The lyrics describe the stages we usually go through in relationships. On average, we fall in love and find happiness, but then break up or get our hearts broken. It’s a beautiful song with such dramatic and heartfelt lyrics depicting the sadness that comes from a relationship you’ve invested in that ends terribly. The artistic direction featured in the music video was so simple yet you could find a deeper meaning from just watching this woman running as fast as she can, like she’s being chased by life itself. See the video below:


눈은 왜 감는 건데 (Why Close Your Eyes?)” is a transition from the mellow ballads into the pop/dance vibe. The beat is like ecstasy, a rush of excitement through my veins. The song starts out slow with a lovely melody, then in comes the hypnotic dance music that takes control of your mind and gets you on the dance floor. Ji Young’s voice is so seductive while she sings passionately throughout the entire song. This is my favorite pop number on “PITTA”. Listen for yourselves:

Bad Girl” keeps us dancing. This track, which was co-written and produced by JDRelic, features a more playful and naughty side Ji Young once displayed in her previously released single “My Ear’s Candy”. It’s about a good girl taking chances and showing her love interest that she can turn it up a notch. She’s portraying her sexy and confident side and that attracts the guy. The lines “I transform into a bad girl” says it all. Don’t we all have a naughty side to us? The beat is like a massive attack once it leaves from the intro synths and completely picks up pace. Hot song!

아이캔드링크 (I Can Drink)” is a short number taking us back into the sad ballads. It’s an emotional track about drinking your pain away in a sense; it’s common for us to find various means of releasing our heartache. “아무것도 아닌 듯 (Nothing)” truly started like Leann Rimes “How Do I Live”, and both songs have similar messages. I love how each instrument used in the track play an important part in emphasizing on the sadness. The solo guitar had me in awe. A beautiful mid-tempo pop song influenced by rock. Is there a genre this woman hasn’t attempted and conquered? I think not.

Strangely “Love Game” has a strong similarity to Lady Gaga’s “Love Game” in terms of the beat, however they’re alike only in that sense. The song is about the different ways people play with each other’s feelings in relationships. Though the music is mid-tempo pop, Ji Young’s vocals sound tamed and not well utilized. Honestly, I like the song but it sounds like space filler though it has the right concept that the album is built on: love, pain, and happiness. “시간이 지나면 (Over Time)” on the other hand is my favorite ballad on the record. The song has oriental elements that take me into the clouds. The instruments are well organized and Baek’s voice provides a sorrowful yet soothing atmosphere. The song is about missing the love that you’ve lost but knowing that over a period of time the hurt will disappear. It could also be that she wants to find that love again and hold on to it after some time has passed. It’s a very emotional song and by listening to her voice I just feel like drowning myself in tears. Thanks a lot Ji Young.

The ballads just keep on coming. “안해요 (Dont)” seems to be about losing the one you love to someone else. Ji Young stresses so much on “I love you” throughout the song, making it quite obvious that she’s pleading for the man to stay with her because she doesn’t know how to go on without him. In “너무 싫은 일 (I Really Dont Want)” it seems she has encountered someone new but feels somewhat bothered about starting a new relationship. The song is more acoustic than the previous and drums are lightly used. The track gives a feeling of spring, with birds chirping and flowers blooming. I like this song but I’m beginning to feel tired from all the ballads.

I’ve been waiting to hear another dance number like “Why Close Your Eyes” but I guess my wait was in vain because the last track is another sorrowful ballad and sounds like the most painful one of all. “무시로 (In and Out of Time)” is about a woman dealing with the love she has lost. At times she cries when she misses her former love, trying to cope with the loneliness that is more painful than the actual breakup. After listening to this song I felt like I could relate and it also made me feel like rushing to Ji Young and putting my arms around her because the pain in the song felt so real. 

The album is fairly good and the images are very tasteful but I just wish that they included more dance numbers rather than only two. Although the ballads were exceptional, I felt a little overwhelmed by so many of them depicting the same concept. Its understandable being that Baek Ji Young’s known for her ballads, but still the album could have been well balanced. I givePITTAa rating of 4.7/5

Track listing:

01. Lost Star
02. 보통 (As Usual)
03. 눈은 왜 감는 건데  (Why Close Your Eyes?)
04. Bad Girl
05. 아이캔드링크  (I Can Drink)
06. 아무것도 아닌 듯 (Nothing)
07. Love Game
08. 시간이 지나면 (Over Time)
09. 안해요 (Don’t)
10. 너무 싫은 일 (I Really Don’t Want To)
11. 무시로  (In and Out Of Time)
12. 보통 (As Usual MR)
13. Bad Girl (MR)

 

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Images courtesy of koreangossipgirl.com

3 thoughts on “[Review] Baek Ji Young’s “PITTA”

  1. This is such a good album! I blasted it so much while playing Kingdom Hearts II that I now forever associate some of these songs (Bad Girl) with running around, mashing my X button, and kicking the shit out of things. It’s kind of strange, especially when listening to the beautiful ballads xD But I just love it so much, it’s received sooooo many plays by me since it was released.

  2. For her new album, I can say that BAD GIRL is my most favorite. It’s because it fits my personality so much. I mean, i’m not a BAD GIRL but the song has an upbeat tempo and I really like dancing so much. And this song fits so much :)) Baek Jiyoung is definitely a QUEEN not only in ballads but also in songs. 😀

  3. I fell in love with Baek Ji Young’s voice with the song “Like being hit with a bullet” and My ear’s Candy (But after watching Jo Kwon dance to that song, the image of Jo kwon dancing to that song pops up whenever I hear that song XD)
    Again Baek Ji Young failed to disappoint me. With her strong vocals, her song “보통 (As Usual)” , just expresses such a sad heartfelt emotion when heard! The video is a masterpiece!! I like how you said “like she’s being chased by life itself.” It truly does look that way.

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